'Dementia Epidemic' Is Coming, Warns Group

Cases will triple by 2050, Alzheimer's group predicts
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2013 7:06 AM CST
'Dementia Epidemic' Is Coming, Warns Group

Dementia cases worldwide will triple by 2050 to 135 million sufferers, according to a new report from Alzheimer's Disease International. The group released the figures in anticipation of the G8 dementia summit in London next week, the BBC reports, and attributes the rise to climbing life expectancies, particularly in developing countries. USA Today reports that the group's latest figure is 17% higher than earlier ones, due in large part to increased estimates of future dementia in China and sub-Saharan Africa.

Right now wealthy countries are home to a disproportionate 38% of dementia patients, but the group is expecting that to shift a bit, with low- and middle-income countries' share ticking up to 71%. Most governments, the group argues, are "woefully unprepared for the dementia epidemic," and it's calling for more spending on dementia research. "Dementia is fast becoming the biggest health and social care challenge of this generation," the head of a UK Alzheimer's group says. "The G8 is our once-in-a-generation chance to conquer this condition and we must see meaningful action after the talking is over." (Click for a previous report on one way to delay dementia.)

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